On one magical night, the young Flyers prospects of Lehigh Valley give a glimpse of the future On A Big Stage


It’s no secret the Philadelphia Flyers are loaded to the gills with offensive and defensive talent throughout the Flyers farm system. The Flyers are hoping their scoring and defensive woes will be a thing of the past in a year or so, as some of these highly touted prospects will begin to make an imprint on the Flyers organization.

With the likes of Mike Vecchione, Oskar Lindblom, Danick Martel, Cole Bardreau, Mikhail Vorobyev, Nicolas Aube-Kubel, Radel Fazleev, Philippe Myers, Samuel Morin, and Alex Lyon. The Flyers are well on their way of being contenders for years to come. Will all these young prospects work out, maybe not but some will.

What made the Outdoor Classic so special this past Saturday night was the fact the Phantoms played against their arch rival in the Hershey Bears. The feeling and intensity of these young Phantoms players on this night is a feeling that they will remember for the rest of their lives. All the young up and coming Flyers prospects in one place, on one night outdoors for a game of pond hockey…Can’t beat it. The Phantoms had no let downs in the 5-2 victory, and the fans were quite special themselves.

From the players warming up on the ice, to player introductions, then to the dropping of the puck to start the game. The proud Phantoms fans and the joyous orange clad Flyers fans were in it from the start. With the atmosphere rocking on this special night, let’s focus on Vecchione, Lindblom, and Lyon for this outdoor game, just to gauge how far they have come in their progression towards the NHL.


Oskar Lindblom
Colin McDonald got things started and the Phantoms never looked back. Lindblom zipped a pass over to McDonald. He made no mistake by depositing the biscuit in the basket for an early 1-0 Phantoms lead. What a pass from Lindblom, who was recently added to the AHL All-Star game. Lindblom who was on my radar of prospects to watch in this game, appears to have adapted to the North American style of play (Rink Size included). Samuel Morin also got a secondary assist on Mcdonald’s tally.

Lindblom looked really good and dialed in. He showed his speed and his range throughout the course of this game. There aren’t many players at the AHL level that can keep up with the speed that Lindblom possesses.


Mike Vecchione
Vecchione had a pretty solid showing in the outdoor classic. He registered a few shots on net, but unfortunately couldn’t muster the biscuit past the Bears netminder in Pheonix Copley. However, with just 1:39 remaining the third period, and the Phantoms leading 3-2. Vecchione threaded a pass to a surging TJ Brennan. Brennan made no mistake by depositing the puck into the empty net for a 4-2 Phantoms lead.

The young stud in Vecchione has put together a pretty solid year thus far for the Phantoms. He has registered 8 goals, and 17 assists for a total of 25 points in 36 games played. Vecchione just recently came back from a minor injury that sidelined him for a few weeks. The good thing about Vecchione is he has NHL experience, and he seems more than determined to prove himself with the big club when his chance arises.


Alex Lyon
What more can be said about Alex Lyon. Before being called up to the Flyers on December 6, 2017, as Michal Neuvirth was sidelined for two weeks with a leg injury. Lyon had a dismal 3.31 GAA, and a .894 Save Percentage in 16 games played. Since then, as the Flyers loaned Lyon back to the Phantoms on December 26, 2017. He has been lights out. Lyon has reduced his GAA to 3.07, and has increased his Save Percentage to a healthy .905%. For the season, Lyon is 11-8-2 after the Phantoms victory on Saturday night, to which he was a beast. He made 41 big saves in the lights and the nice weather, “Yea the lights didn’t play too much of a factor,” Lyon said. “Just noticed the stands were very dark, and obviously the night sky which made it tough. But, I adjusted pretty quickly, and it was fun. Plus got the 2 points.”

Lyon made three or four point blank saves on various players throughout the course of the game. He made some really nice sprawling saves, glove hand saves, and just looked dialed in from the start. In the event the Flyers trade Neuvirth at the trade deadline. After watching this game in person, I see no reason why Lyon couldn’t be a serviceable back-up for the big club.It’s awesome, so professionally done, Hershey did a great job, Lyon said following the game.That being said it’s much better when you win. That’s important, that’s number one. It was a great experience. I haven’t been fortunate to take part in too many things like this. So I really appreciate it.”

This was a phenomenal game to attend, and be a part of. The Flyers are well on their way for long-term success, with these young prospects that are being tucked away with the Phantoms. In the event of injuries or hiccups with the big club. Some of these young guns are chomping at the bit to get their shot at making an imprint in the NHL. One thing is certain Flyers fans, the future is bright in Flyer land.


Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports